Despite a Karnataka Government order offering relaxation for two years, the Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) has decided to implement the rule of mandatory completion of six years by June 1 for admission to class 1 from the academic year 2024-25.
Most Central board schools and Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools (KVS) have implemented the rule from the 2023-24 academic year.
The Karnataka Government is following the age criteria of 5+ year for admissions for class 1. However, as part of the National Education Policy (NEP-2020), the Union Education Ministry’s Department of School Education and Literacy has made it mandatory for completion of six years for admission to class 1.
On July 26, 2022, the DSEL had issued an order mandating the same from the academic year 2023-24. It created lot of confusion and anxiety among parents, after which the Karnataka government gave a relaxation for two academic years. An order issued by the DSEL on November 15, 2022, stated that the 6-year age completion rule will be implemented from 2025-26 academic year. Now, DSEL has decided to implement the order one year earlier.
Vishal R., Commissioner, Department of Public Instruction, told The Hindu, “The Minister and the Secretary of the department have already decided to the implement this order with effect from the academic year of 2024-25. Those children who have already joined LKG in 2022-23 are eligible to enter class I in the academic year of 2024-25, but not nursery students.”
In February 2023, the Union Union Education Ministry had once again reiterated and directed all States and Union Territories to make 6 years minimum age for class I admission. However, KVs, which come under the Union Government, and most of the Central board schools like CBSE and ICSE, set aside the State Government order of the two-year relaxation and made it mandatory from the academic year 2023-24.
Suprith, secretary of Oxford Institution, Bengaluru said, “The Union Education Ministry and CBSE have sent the order and made minimum age 6 years mandatory for admission to class I from the academic year of 2023-24. Therefore, we are following this order and providing admission to students of 6+ years for class I this year.”
Aravind, a parent, said, “My son is 5 years 10 months old. Last year, he was in UKG. This year, I am trying to admit him to class I in a CBSE school. But, they refused to admit him because of the age criteria. There is a lot of confusion in the State and Central government orders. The State Government had given two years relaxation. Central board schools are not following this. Wasting one academic year is a great loss for the future of the children.”
Dr. Vishal said, “The State Government had given two years’ relaxation from the age cap. We can’t do anything if the Central board schools are following the Union Government instructions.”